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DISCLAIMER: These care tips are given in good faith and whilst they have worked for me, every situation is different and they are here as a guide only and need to be taken at your own risk.
If you have bought one of our striking Belted Galloway cow hides, you know you have something special and it is always helpful to have a few tips on how to keep it looking good and feeling great.
It is highly likely that you would have received your hide in the post and therefore, it would have been folded or rolled. Any creases will come out once it has been laid flat and let to settle. As the actual Belted Galloway hide is very thick, it may take 1 to 2 weeks to relax
The textured underside leads to a natural grip on all floor finishes. If you use your Belted Galloway hide as a rug, it is recommended, that for long lasting wear, you do not place your hide in a high traffic area and you reposition it occasionally for even wear. One also needs to be careful of any edges of the hides that may be kicked up. Adhesive Velcro dots or strips or heavy duty double sided tape can help to eliminate this if it becomes too much of a problem. Another thing to watch out for is the combination of bare feet and the long silky hair on the topside. You know how kids love to run through the house (hopefully with clean feet), well - it wouldn’t be the first time that they have slipped or tripped.
Your Belted Galloway cow hide is like any other furnishing and can be vacuum cleaned or shaken to get rid of dust and loose dirt etc. When wiping down your cow hide it is recommended that you use a dampened (not wet) cloth with mild soap and warm water. Wipe in the direction of the hair, being careful not to get the hide too wet. Your cow hide is not suitable for machine washing or dry cleaning. Using a solid plastic brush or hair brush will help to keep the hair soft, silky and fluffy.
If your Belted Galloway cow hide is unfortunate to have non-oil based liquids, food, vomit or urine spilt on it - immediately
- Soak up spills with paper/cloth towels or sponges.
- Any solid matter can be gently scraped away using the blunt edge of a knife and going in the direction of the hair.
- You can then vigorously clean the affected area using a damp cloth, once again with a mild soapy solution.
- To finalise the cleaning process, make a diluted solution of 1% white vinegar and 99% water and dip a clean cloth into this and wipe your hide down. This solution aids in eliminating nasty odours and balancing the PH levels of your hide.
In the removal of oil based spills the best method that I am aware of in removing spills like lipstick, grease, chewing gum etc. Is
- Remove as much solid matter as possible using the blunt edge of the knife in the same manner as with liquid spills.
- Using a soft cloth and Eucalyptus Oil, dab directly onto the affected area and wipe it out.
- Spray the affected area sparingly with WD40 or another Fish Oil spray and using a soft cloth wipe it out
Or do the same with a Degreaser.
You can then use the dampened soapy cloth to remove any other residue.
And once again finish off with the vinegar solution. This will help eliminate any of the above odours. I don’t mind the smell of Eucalyptus Oil, but the cat keeps hanging around if I use the fish oil.
As you have probably guessed, cow hides do not like being damp or wet for any length of time, so if this happens, take them out side when the sun is shining and place them underside up. It also helps to give them that fresh smell.
On the other hand – due to the nature of leather, your hide should always retain 15 to 18% moisture, so if your hide is in an air conditioned room or by a constant fire, it may dehydrate, making the edges curl. To help rectify this, fully wet the curled area ONLY and place a heavy article eg a capital city phone book (country books are too lightJ) or a brick overnight to help reset the edges flat.
I hope these few tips will help you to care for you Belted Galloway cow hide and if you have any tips to share, please contact me and I will add it to the page.